It never fails, when I tell someone I've been here, I've been there, the first thing out of their mouth ... "HOW DO YOU AFFORD IT?!" I used to get offended and quietly think to myself "Is traveling ONLY for the 1%!?". Now, I happily (QUITE HAPPILY LOL) give a couple tips on how I make it work. I have a few golden rules that I live by and hopefully they are quite useful for you.
My Golden Travel Rules
Research! RESEARCH!! R E S E A R C H !!!!!!!! -- I cant put enough stress on this rule. I usually start 4-5 months before my desired date to leave and I try to gather prices, hotel contenders, sightseeing points, etc.
My Research Tools
Group Travel -- I know, I know. Getting a group of people together for anything falls under the rocket science category. Once you get the through the exhausting task of accommodating to everyone's needs & wants, it's a piece of CAKE!!! LOL I've traveled from a small group of 3 to a group of 6 and to be honest, it's more fun that way!
Travel to travel -- One of the biggest money savers I've learned is, be willing to be flexible, ESPECIALLY if it's going to save you some major MOOLAH!!! For instance, my home airport isn't an international hub but Toronto is AND is only a 3 and half hour drive. So, 3 1/2 hours + $500 - $800 saved = ME DRIVING TO TORONTO FOR THAT CHEAP FLIGHT!
Weather can be your best friend -- Don't be afraid to book that flight to London in February. Don't worry about the rain. It's London, it's going to rain regardless.
Bidding -- If you can be flexible with time, bidding is another great way to save major $$$!! Before you get terrified about buying a flight without knowing the times nor airline, Priceline guarantees only 1 connection flight each way for international flights. So, if you have a 10hr layover in Amsterdam, enjoy the sights and enjoy seeing another country for free!